Should One Day Be Determined To Abandon The Boca Chica, And
Re-Establish The Boca Grande In The State Which Nature Seems To
Prescribe, New Fortifications Must Be Constructed On The
South-South-West Of The Town.
This fortress has always required great
pecuniary outlays to keep it up.
The insalubrity of Carthagena varies with the state of the great
marshes that surround the town on the east and north. The Cienega de
Tesca is more than fifteen miles long; it communicates with the ocean
where it approaches the village of Guayeper. When, in years of
drought, the heaped-up earth prevents the salt water from covering the
whole plain, the emanations that rise during the heat of the day when
the thermometer stands between 28 and 32 degrees are very pernicious
to the health of the inhabitants. A small portion of hilly land
separates the town of Carthagena and the islet of Manga from the
Cienega de Tesca. Those hills, some of which are more than 500 feet
high, command the town. The Castillo de San Lazaro is seen from afar
rising like a great rocky pyramid; when examined nearer its
fortifications are not very formidable. Layers of clay and sand,
belonging to the tertiary formation of nagelfluhe, are covered with
bricks and furnish a kind of construction which has little stability.
The Cerro de Santa Maria de la Popa, crowned by a convent and some
batteries, rises above the fort of San Lazaro and is worthy of more
solid and extensive works.
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